A0 – A7

Refers to paper sizes working from large to small, A0 being the largest and A7 being the smallest.

Accordion Fold

Two or more parallel folds.


The amount of white space in a layout.


The process of fastening sheets of paper together.


Bleed is a term used in printing that refers to print that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. This is an area that will be trimmed off completely. Bleed is usually 3mm.


Paper thicker than 200 GSM.

Body type and size

Types used for passages of text and its size measured from the top of the tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender.


Refers to the 4 colours used in process-printing. Cyan, magenta, yellow and black. All combined together in varying degrees can supply the full colour spectrum.


Paper that has received a coating to give it a special finish.


Written word intended for the content of the design.

Crop marks 

Guidelines on artwork to show where to trim or fold.


Losing parts of a photograph or picture in order to extend the remaining parts of the image to fill the space.


The blue colour used in four colour process-printing.

Digital Printing

Printing can come directly from electronic data and cuts out any other processes between computer and printing. This system uses four colour process-printing.

DL leaflets 

Leaflets that fold to a third the size of A4 with any number of folds.


Dots per inch: The more dots per inch the better. The print will be finer and smoother if the DPI is higher but the printing time will be longer and the file size will be larger.

Drop shadow

Shadows that fall below images or text that can give an image a 3D look.

Dye Sublimation 

Most commonly used for fabric, “dye-sub” is when prints are made directly onto fabrics and fixed onto them using a heat press.


A raised effect is made by stamping a design on to paper.


Processes that take place after the printing.

Flush left

opy that is aligned to the left margin.

Flush Right

opy that is aligned to the right margin.

Glossary of graphic design and print terms

Cornwall Design and Print understand that graphic design and print businesses can use a lot of bombastic language that you may not understand. Fear not! You are not alone, so to help you out in getting your head around things here, we’ve come up with a glossary of terms that may pop up in every day chat about design and print when we forget ourselves and start jabbering on about DL leaflets, GSM and bleed!


Page number.

Four colour process printing 

Please see CMYK.

Gloss ink 

Used on coated papers where the ink will dry without penetration in letterpress and litho printing.


A smooth transition of a colour, sometimes into another colour.


Grams per square metre. Thickness of paper is measured by its weight. A 400 GSM is a thick paper/card and 100 GSM is thinner.


The redder colour used in process-printing.


A rough draft of a piece of graphic design work.


When a title of a paragraph, along with the white space under it is more than the text below, it is considered an orphan.

Pantone Coverage 

A measure of how accurately a printer can reproduce standard Pantone Swatch colours. It’s likely that most modern printers will output 98% of the Pantone range.


A copy of artwork is supplied for full inspection by the client where errors and corrections can be made before mass printing is carried out.

Screen printing 

Usually used for large poster work, clothes, plastic and display materials. Ink is transferred onto a printing surface by being squeezed through a fabric sheet stretched on a frame.

Spot gloss 

A special shiny effect that can be applied to specific areas of a piece of printed design to give it a glossy finish. For example you could add a spot gloss finish to your logo on a matte laminate card to add great contrast between the logo and make it jump out from the card.


A term for paper, card or board that is used to print on. Often used when referring to thickness.

Stroke weight 

The contrast, thick or thin between strokes

Style sheet 

A style sheet contains all the defining components contained on a web page so that the consistency can be carried through to all work.


An error in the copy of work.


A non-pixel based image that uses mathematical equations to scale-up (grow in size) with no loss of quality.


An impression added to paper/images to show a company logo and sometimes used on photography to stop images being stolen.


The boldness or thickness of a font.


Short last lines of paragraphs or even words being left on their own on a final line.